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UK news in brief

11 January 2013


Early lead: the 1871 preparatory pencil-work by the pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Coley Burne-Jones for his paintingThe Days of Creationis expected to fetch between £150,000 and £200,000 at Bonhams, on 23 January

Early lead: the 1871 preparatory pencil-work by the pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Coley Burne-Jones for his painti...

Bishop of Exeter to retire

THE Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Revd Michael Langrish, announced on Sunday that he will retire this year at the age of 67. Bishop Langrish has been in post since 2000, and has been a priest for 40 years. His last service will be in Exeter Cathedral on 29 June. He left the Church of England "in good heart", he said.

O come, all ye Tweeters

THE Christmas Twitter campaign devised by Church House ( News, 14 December) generated almost 9000 tweets, proclaiming that "ChristmasStartsWithChrist", figures published by the Church of England suggest. The hashtag was attached to 8878 tweets, many sent on Christmas Day morning, and some sent from as far away as Brisbane and South India. A Lent campaign "LoveLifeLiveLent" is already being considered.

Todd Bentley's "theological nonsense" criticised

THE Canadian revivalist Todd Bentley has been criticised by a priest in Croydon for suggesting that the death of Malcolm Wicks, MP for Croydon North, was divine retribution. In August, Mr Wicks, who died from cancer in September, urged the Home Secretary to ban Mr Bentley from the UK, citing concerns about his method of "curing" people ( News, 24 August). Mr Bentley was subsequently excluded from the country. In an online video, he referred to Mr Wicks's death as "the Lord's justice". The Vicar of St John the Baptist's, Croydon, Canon John Boswell, told the Croydon Advertiser: "I believe Malcolm to have been one of the most courageous people faced with death that I have ever met, and someone speaking such theological nonsense is an insult to his memory."

Archbishop Nichols to meet Soho Mass congregation

THE Archbishop of Westminster, the Rt Revd Vincent Nichols, has offered to meet gay Roman Catholics who attend the "Soho masses" at Our Lady of the Assumption, Warwick Street. Archbishop Nichols announced last week that the church would be given to the Ordinariate, and asked the organisers to cease holding the fortnightly mass and "focus their effort on the provision of pastoral care" ( News, 4 January). Members of the congregation applauded the letter, read out on Sunday, in which Archbishop Nichols said he hoped to express support for them at a meeting in March.

Forty acts of generosity

A "generosity campaign" launched by the Christian charity Stewardship will encourage people to make a daily act of generosity during Lent. The "40acts" initiative, now in its third year, will challenge participants with daily suggestions, including donating blood and acting as a mentor. More than 5000 people have already signed up. 40acts.org.uk

Correction: The percentage of state school students admitted to Cambridge University last year is 63.3, not 43.5, as stated in our Magdalene College feature last week. Our apologies.

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